Kingsport-Bristol foreclosure rate at 6-year low; delinquent mortgages, foreclosures down across Tri-Cities


Kingsport-Bristol’s foreclosure rate fell to a six-year low in the current CoreLogic report, and the delinquent mortgage rate is almost at same level.

The Johnson City MSA’s foreclosure rate trend is also down but it has shown slight movement up and down since August.  The same is true for the delinquent mortgage rate since December.

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans were 0.58% in February, down 0.14 points compared to February 2014.

The percentage of mortgage loans 90 days or more delinquent in the four-county MSA in February was 2.92% compared to 3.45% last year.

Johnson City area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans were 0.60%, up 0.01 points compared to February last year.

Delinquent mortgage loans were, 2.80 percent of all mortgage compared to 3.17% February last year.

Foreclosure activity and delinquent mortgages in Kingsport-Bristol and Johnson City were lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 1.43%. The national delinquent mortgage rate was 3.92%.

CoreLogic’s 90+ Day Delinquency Rate measures the percentage of loans that are more than 90 days delinquent, including those in foreclosure and REO (real estate owned).

The Foreclosure Rate measures the percentage of loans in some stage of the foreclosure process. A foreclosure is defined by the legal process by which an owner’s right to a property is terminated, usually due to default. This does not represent the number of new foreclosure filings.


March private sector wages improve most in Kingsport-Bristol, Johnson City MSA at bottom of state rankings


Employment increased across the Tri-Cities in March but the average private sector wage didn’t follow suit in all areas. That’s an illustration of restructuring of the local labor force since the Great Recession and the regional’s underemployment woes.

KB MarKingsport-Bristol private sector workers saw their average wage increase by 3.9% from February. The year-to-year trend shows wage averages in that four-county MSA were 4.7% better than March last year. It was the eighth straight monthly increase on the year-to-year metric.

Private sector workers in the Johnson City MSA saw a second straight increase on the month-to-month metric but the year-to-year trend continues to be in negative territory. There has not been a year-to-year increase in that three-county MSA since April 2012.

JC MarOn a broader perspective the Johnson City MSA was at the bottom of state rankings for average private sector wages again in March.

Historically Kingsport-Bristol and Johnson City are ranked next to each other in the state comparison, but lately Johnson City’s position has gone to the bottom while Kingsport-Bristol has increased. In March Kingsport-Bristol ranked 8th in Tennessee right behind the Morristown MSA. NE Tennessee’s wage leader remains the Knoxville MSA, which has the second highest average private sector average wage in the state, right behind Nashville.

When   private sector average wage for last month are adjusted for inflation to a pre-recession benchmark of March 2008 Kingsport-Bristol workers had an average of $18 a month more buying power. Johnson City MSA workers have $64 a week less buying power.

Although the average private sector wage is one of the only monthly measures of wages on the local level there’s several caveat that should be considered:

  • It does not include the wages of government workers. Government is the largest employer in the Johnson City MSA and the third largest in Kingsport-Bristol. On a regional scale, government was the single largest job source in the March Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll survey. Education and Health Services was second.
  • Most of higher wages and increases in the private sector go to those at the higher end of that sector while the bulk of job growth has been in the lower-paying service sector. The increase of part-time workers also tends to bring down the private sector’s wage average.

March data for these comparisons are preliminary, so some adjustments are likely when April’s reports are issued. The BLS data is not seasonally adjusted.


Johnson City MSA shows strongest area job sector growth trend; sectors ranked by total March jobs


Growth Johnson City MSA job sectors on the year-to-year metric in March were: Information; Leisure and Hospitality, Professional and Businesses Services; and Manufacturing.

In the Kingsport-Bristol MSA the growth sectors were: Retail Trade; and Transportation and Utilities.

That snapshot of the Tri-Cities labor market comes from heat charts compliments of MTSU’s Bureau of Economic Research Center.

Heat charts are an easy way to take the pulse of the labor market because they track the year-over-year growth, and decline, of individual job sectors in by the numbers and color.

For those who watch those charts will notice that this month’s version show some changes due to the BLS benchmarking.

The picture is not as rosy for the four-county Kingsport-Bristol MSA and things look a little better in the three County Johnson City MSA.

In Kingsport-Bristol Five sectors showed growth over March last year. The biggest bump came in Retail Trade.

Five sectors show employment declined. Leisure and Hospitality took the biggest hit followed by Wholesale Trade.

The Kingsport-Bristol chart can be found at

Johnson City’s strongest growth sectors were: Information; Leisure and Hospitality; Manufacturing; and Professional and Business Services.  Four sectors were in the green and only two sectors showed employment contraction. They were” Government; and Other Services. The rest were flat.

The Johnson City MSA chart can be found at

The two charts at the bottom of the page show how each sector ranked by total jobs both MSA.

All of the numbers are preliminary and not seasonally adjusted.

Kb jobs ranking


JC jobs ranking

Kingsport-Bristol leads Tenn. in March sales tax collection declines


Kingsport-Bristol was a state leader again this month in sales tax collection comparisons as reported by MTSU’s Bureau of Economic Research Center. MarBut this time it was all about declines.

Kingsport-Bristol has the largest percentage decline among state MSAs when March collections were compared to February.  On the year-to-year comparison Kingsport-Bristol  had the second largest decline. Jackson had the dubious distinction of being first.

Declines were the norm last month. The only year-to-year gains were in Chattanooga, Cleveland and Nashville.

Here’s how collections in NE Tenn. looked on the year-to-year metric.

Johnson City – down 0.2%.

Kingsport – down 3.9% .

Knoxville – down 1.7%.

Morristown – down 3.1%.

When compared to February collections:

Johnson City was down 4.3%.

Kingsport-Bristol was down 12.2%.

Knoxville was down 9.7%.

Morristown was down 7.4%.

March was the first time in nine straight months that year-to-year collections have dipped into negative territory.

Kingsport-Bristol posted big gains for five months before March.


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